HEADLINES / TRENDS l STATS l RESEARCH l MEDIA l PEOPLE
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Vitamin C Linked to Lower Heart Risk
Mother always said, “Eat your vegetables.” There’s more evidence supporting that advice: The vitamin C found in produce has been associated with a reduced risk of heart disease and early death.
A Danish research team came to this conclusion after analyzing data from more than 100,000 Danes, according to results published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
“We can see that those with the highest intake of fruits and vegetables have a 15% lower risk of cardiovascular disease and a 20% lower risk of early death compared with those who very rarely eat fruits and vegetables,” said study co-author Camilla Kobylecki, MD. “At the same time, we can see that the reduced risk is related to high vitamin C concentrations in the blood from the fruits and vetetables.”
There may be a genetic aspect to this protective effect. Study participants found to have a specific genetic variant (called an allele) were more likely to have high bloodstream levels of vitamin C.
Seaweed: A Novel Cardiac Aid?
Seaweed, known for its use in Japanese cuisine and in weight-control supplements, may help boost heart health.
A multinational research team looked at the healthful properties of numerous types of seaweed. They found many species to contain high amounts of heart-healthy soluble fiber that could serve as a prebiotic, feeding the good intestinal microbes that help control metabolism. Seaweed was also found to contain cardioprotective antioxidants and omega-3 essential fatty acids.
Results appeared in Phycologia.
Olive Oil Tied to
For years, scientists have known about the cardiac benefits of using olive oil in one’s diet. Now there is apparently one more reason why—olive compounds called polyphenols have reduced cholesterol levels in a recent study.
European investigators gave olive oil with either high or low levels of polyphenols to a group of men between the ages fo 20 and 59 on a random basis.
After three weeks, concentrations of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, the kind that can narrow arteries under certain conditions, dropped significantly in the high-polyphenol group. What’s more, this group also experienced notable decreases in atherogenicity, or the likelihood of cholesterol deposit formation on arterial walls.
As part of their study report in the Journal of Nutrition, the researchers wrote that consumption of olive polyphenols demonstrated “some of the most considerable decreases in the number of…LDL particles that have been reported in humans due to dietary bioactive compounds.”
Living a Purposeful Life
May Help Your Heart
Having a sense of purpose has been linked to a lower risk for heart disease, according to a Psychosomatic Medicine study.
Scientists analyzed studies of roughly 136,000 older people in which 4,000 had a cardiovascular event and more than 14,500 died from any cause. People who reported having a strong life purpose had a lower risk of both cardiac events and overall mortality.
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History & Wellness at Omni
Mineral springs in the Allegheny Mountains of South Pennsylvania have a long history of attracting wellness-seekers, beginning with Native Americans who used the springs for their curative powers and followed by a stream of dignitaries including ten presidents, seven of whom visited during their presidencies.
Signs of Omni Bedford Springs’ storied past are at every turn, including a post-Civil War, 39-star American flag that spans the large wall behind the front desk. Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1984, Omni Bedford returned to its original splendor in 2007 after a $120 million restoration that included modern amenities like its inviting spa, where treatments, including its Bedford Baths ritual, use the resort’s signature indigenous product line inspired by local herbs and botanicals.
With its new “Be Well” weekends, Omni Bedford Springs is capitalizing on its history of attracting the health-conscious and on its beautiful environment—a short footbridge leads guests to scenic hiking trails, marked for novices and experts alike, in the nearby woods. In its inaugural “Be Well” weekend last September, the resort assembled a diverse array of experts and topics, such as what to expect when going gluten-free, aromatherapy and spine health. A lively drum circle led by Jim Donovan of the band Rusted Root left guests with a feeling of meditative calm and exuberance. We also loved the morning cooking demonstration led by David Noto, food and beverage director, on the lawn and the wellness assessment led by Angie Yasulitis of Quantum Health and Wellness.
Any time of year, Omni Bedford Springs provides a salve for body and mind; the wellness-themed weekends add a compelling reason to visit. See OmniHotels.com for more on the next “Be Well” weekend, March 4-5.